NFL Power Rankings: Rating Football's Top over and Underachievers

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IDecember 22, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 09:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins hands the ball off to Alfred Morris #46 of the Washington Redskins during a game agaist the Baltimore Ravens at FedExField on December 9, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

As the regular season comes to an end, NFL power rankings don’t look like they did in the preseason.

Teams that were projected to be cellar dwellers defied the odds and became postseason contenders while others which that playoff shoo-ins collapsed under their expectations.

Here are the top over and under achievers in the league this season as well as a complete list of power rankings.


Top Overachievers

2. Washington Redskins

Just one year ago, the Rex Grossman/John Beck-led Redskins were the laughing stock of the NFL.

Now with Robert Griffin III, there isn’t a team that’s more fun to watch.

Washington was supposed to need at least one rebuilding year to compete for a playoff spot. Today, it sits atop the NFC East and controls its own destiny.


1. Indianapolis Colts

Indy was the worst team in the league last season. It won two measly games and looked downright pitiful without Peyton Manning.

Now, Colts fans have almost—almost—forgotten about Manning thanks to their rookie quarterback who’ll be the face of the NFL soon enough. On the back of Andrew Luck, Indianapolis has nearly clinched a playoff berth.


Top Underachievers

2. Detroit Lions

The Madden Curse was the only thing that should’ve gone wrong for the Lions, but it ended up being the only thing that didn’t go wrong.

Injuries, off-the-field issues, and Matthew Stafford interceptions derailed Detroit’s promising season. Despite their wealth of talent, the Lions have lost six straight games, the longest active losing streak in the league, and are in danger of imploding this offseason.


1. Philadelphia Eagles

Who would’ve thought that the most talented team Andy Reid had ever coached would lead to his demise.

Experts were still picking Philadelphia to win Super Bowl XLVII despite the disaster that was its 2011 campaign. A 3-1 start injected hope into the city, but the Eagles went just 1-9 in their last 10 and have almost officially ended the experiment that was the Dream Team led by Reid and Michael Vick.


Complete NFL Power Rankings

1. Denver Broncos

2. Atlanta Falcons

3. Houston Texans

4. San Francisco 49ers

5. Green Bay Packers

6. New England Patriots

7. Seattle Seahawks

8. Washington Redskins

9. Dallas Cowboys

10. Cincinnati Bengals

11. Indianapolis Colts

12. Minnesota Vikings

13. New York Giants

14. Baltimore Ravens

15. Chicago Bears

16. New Orleans Saints

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

18. Carolina Panthers

19. St. Louis Rams

20. Cleveland Browns

21. Miami Dolphins

22. Tennessee Titans

23. New York Jets

24. San Diego Chargers

25. Arizona Cardinals

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

27. Buffalo Bills

28. Detroit Lions

29. Philadelphia Eagles

30. Oakland Raiders

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

32. Kansas City Chiefs


David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.


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